Thursday, 22 April 2010

Israel lobby fears UK election will give leverage to 'pro-Palestinian' Liberal Democrats

Interesting article over at the UK's Jewish Chronicle newspaper about the pro-Israel lobby's fears about the outcome of the UK election in which the Liberal Democrats, led by Nick Clegg, are increasingly likely to hold the balance of power in the new parliament. JC thinks the Lib Dems are rabidly pro-Palestinian and is worried.
When it comes to the Middle East the portents are not encouraging. Clegg is a long-term critic of Israel's policies and led the charge to denounce Israel and impose sanctions during the 2009 Gaza war.

In an inflammatory opinion-page article in The Guardian in January 2009 he called on Labour to "condemn unambiguously Israel's tactics" and called for an immediate arms boycott by Britain and the EU. more

Open letter to Gil Scott-Heron: don't play in Apartheid Israel

Rap pioneer Gil Scott-Heron is scheduled to go to Israel for one performance on May 25 in Tel Aviv’s Barbie club.

Dear Gil,

We write to urge you not to perform in Israel next month. This is done in the name of millions of Palestinians living under an Apartheid system no different (and probably worse) than the system that existed in South Africa before Nelson Mandela liberated his land. We urge you to stand by justice for the Palestinians who have suffered for 62 years of colonial occupation under the Zionist Israeli regime. You know it. You have seen it. You saw Gaza last year and you saw what Israel did there. If you stand for justice and international law, then you will stand up for the Palestinian people.

Do not let commercial interests stand in the way of a decision that can be courageous and pro-active. If you do have to go, then say something courageous about Israeli inhumanity and injustice. Call for the end of occupation and do not be afraid. Mandela was never afraid to say what he believed in. Your art has no boundaries.

We hope you will stand up for justice in Palestine.

Antoine Raffoul · Thursday April 22, 2010

Antoine Raffoul

From the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

Rockets fired towards Israel from Sinai hit Jordan - Egypt denies the reports

Israel claims two rockets were fired from Egypt's Sinai desert towards the Israeli town of Eilat but missed and landed in Jordan, hitting a warehouse. No one was injured. Egypt denies that the rockets were fired from its territory.
A rocket has exploded near the southern Jordanian city of Aqaba. No casualties have been reported.

The rocket was one of two fired early on Thursday morning which landed in Jordanian territory, the other splashed harmlessly into the sea.

There are conflicting reports as to where the rockets were fired from.

Israeli military sources say they came from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, but Egypt denies this and Jordanian officials denied the missiles came from there.

Israeli media reports say that the rockets were aimed at the Israeli town of Eilat.

Israeli military sources told the BBC the rockets came from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, but Egyptian officials later said that was untrue. - from the BBC

First deportation from West Bank to Gaza under new apartheid-style IDF pass law

The new IDF order has swung into operation already with the first Palestinian deported yesterday from the West Bank to Gaza. where are the condemnations from world leaders at this blatant act of colonial-style oppression?
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Israel deported a Palestinian prisoner to the Gaza Strip instead of releasing him to his West Bank home, the man and Palestinian officials said, charging Israel with using controversial new military orders.

The prisoner, Ahmad Sabah, 40, was refusing to leave the Palestinian side of the main crossing between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

"It is inhumane what they are doing. He has no connection to Gaza, no relatives there, nothing," said Issa Qaraqi, the minister of prisoner affairs in the government of the Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Qaraqi claimed Israel was implementing a new set of military orders that critics fear could lead to mass deportations from the occupied West Bank. more
On Wednesday there was protests in Gaza against the IDF order. The rally was notable in that it brought together Hamas and Fatah for the first time since 2007.
Representatives of rival Hamas and Fatah movements attended the rally near Erez terminal which connects the Gaza Strip and Israel and is only open to foreigners, patients and people with special arrangements.